I recall barely 2 years ago, while debating on PEX about religion, origins of the universe, and a bit of cosmology – String Theory was just in its infancy. Not suprisingly, a legion of people who did not understand the theory just ridiculed it. But it seems that the theory is not just about to die down because of ridicule. In fact, one of the LHC’s goals is to look for the Higgs boson – the “God particle”.
As soon as they have “re-discovered” the known Standard Model particles, a necessary precursor to looking for new physics, the LHC experiments will start the systematic search for the Higgs boson. With the amount of data expected, called one inverse femtobarn by physicists, the combined analysis of ATLAS and CMS will be able to explore a wide mass range, and there’s even a chance of discovery if the Higgs has a mass near 160 GeV.
Between lay posters on PEX whose sphere of attention is limited to Wowowee and Physicist Dr. Michio Kaku, it wasn’t rocket science. Dr. Kaku can be wrong – but, what if he is right?
What exactly is string theory?
String theory is a developing theory in particle physics which attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity. String theory posits that the electrons and quarks within an atom are not 0-dimensional objects, but rather 1-dimensional oscillating lines (“strings”), possessing only the dimension of length, but not height or width. The theory poses that these strings can vibrate, thus giving the observed particles their flavor, charge, mass and spin. The earliest string model, the bosonic string, incorporated only bosons, although this view evolved to the superstring theory, which posits that a connection (a “supersymmetry”) exists between bosons and fermions, two fundamentally different types of particles. String theories also require the existence of several extra, unobservable, dimensions to the universe, in addition to the usual three spatial dimensions (height, width, and length) and the fourth dimension of time. M theory, for example, requires that spacetime have eleven dimensions.
What’s the’s the excitement all about?
Amanda Peet, a physicist and string theorist from the University of Toronto narrates how she arrived at string theory – “I began with aspects of the black hole information problem, moved to entropy computations when D-brane physics arrived, developed aspects of holographic gravity/gauge dualities useful to black holes and black branes, and most recently concentrated on the search for string theoretic mechanisms for resolution of classical spacetime singularities.”
Fortunately, the New Zealander, Peet is still fluent in using layman’s English. In this engaging interview with NOVA and PBS Amanda discusses the implications of string theory for questions of cosmology, from the birth of the universe to the heart of black holes.
[iframe: src=”http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/view-peet.html” scrollable=”yes” frameborder=”1″ height=”400″ width=”100%”]
The following videos will explain in greater detail what String Theory is all about.
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BBC – Parallel Universes
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Imagining the Tenth Dimension
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These concepts were at the heart of the movie called “The One”.
The Entertainment – Jet Li and Jason Statham in “The One”
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I remember watching Star Trek as a child. I saw the Star Trek crew reach into their waists and grab something that what today would be know as a cellular phone. On their screens flashed huge screens – which today would be flat LCD screens.
With String Theory in the horizon, humanity’s future will be in for one ride.
Humanity has come a long way from this –
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The LHC will soon be testing a lot of the predictions of String Theory – among this is the search for the “God particle”. Higgs-Boson.
In this article from the Scientific American, the connection between Higgs-Boson and String Theory is made – “Still, enough is known about string theory that there are some suggestive connections to our world. Most important, string theory seems to require our world to have a property called supersymmetry. And a supersymmetric Standard Model with string theory boundary conditions has Higgs bosons and explains their properties. Whereas the mass of the Higgs boson cannot be calculated in the Standard Model, in the supersymmetric Standard Model the mass can be calculated approximately to be 90¿40 GeV, a range that contains the likely discovered value. Finding a Higgs boson thus strongly supports the supersymmetric Standard Model, which in turn supports the notion that string theory is indeed the right approach to nature.”
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Meanwhile, the Philippines will still be emoting how victimized it is, paint stories of an imaginary glorious past, while facing a bankrupt desolate future – the same old fluff talk in a grand orgy of political sado-masochism – oh yeah sing hossanahs to a new science building in UP – talk about lowering expectations. 😆
Wonder why we get FDI crumbs – Our protectionist economy is an anthill to to the more advanced economies – no point in explaining free markets to apes – they just wouldn’t get it. 😳
So FDI keeps flowing into Singapore, SK, Thailand, Indonesia – to ants, bread crumbs are huge. 😆
Get your Thinking Hat on, Philippines!